Big OOPS on the range last weekend


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offroader1006
May 11, 2011, 09:43 PM
I was out with a buddy who I regularly take to the range with me. He brought another friend and the friends spouse. We had been shooting rifles for a while, and getting the wife comfortable with shooting and controlling recoil.

We went down to the pistol range to shoot some steel plates. The guys wife had been shooting his Walther .22, and he wanted her to try his .380. She loaded a magazine, and fired a round or two. She was jolted by the violent muzzle flip and turned to talk to her husband. We were all standing behind the line talking, when I saw her turn from the firing line.

As soon as I looked down I freaked out. I'm sure my eyes were saucer-sized, and I could feel my heart skip a beat. She was pointing the loaded .380 around at everyone, with her finger ON the trigger. I was quick to shout a loud "WHOA" and motion the gun away, and she quickly realized what she had done.

I dont think I have ever been so terrified, so briefly, before. This is the first time I have actually looked down the barrel of a loaded gun. It was partially my fault, as both of the guys I brought have shot with me before, I didnt give the normal safety speech before we started.

The realization of what could have happened still haunts me. Next trip will be different.

Short story shorter: DON'T SKIMP ON THE SAFETY TALK.

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Walkalong
May 11, 2011, 09:55 PM
Start beginners with one round in the mag. That is how my kids shot until they proved trustworthy.

And don't skimp on the safety talk.

Jeff82
May 11, 2011, 10:00 PM
And always be standing where you can control the gun arm of a noob shooter.

Average Joe
May 11, 2011, 10:06 PM
You must expect things like this with a new shooter, next time be more attentive and a little closer so you can rectify the situation.

ThePunisher'sArmory
May 11, 2011, 10:13 PM
Start beginners with one round in the mag. That is how my kids shot until they proved trustworthy

That is an awesome idea. I will be doing that when my daughter is old enough to shoot a pistol.

kennedy
May 11, 2011, 10:20 PM
great idea, I am getting ready to start shooting with my grand son and I will let him load on round into the mag of a savage .22, until I think he is ready for more, I learned to shoot on a single shot, so should everybody.

Leatherman-Cowboy
May 11, 2011, 10:26 PM
I taught my grand kids how to shoot,and I run the firing line just like in basic training,lol.I can only wonder what you felt-wow.Lucky it turned out ok.
Thank you,
Henry

Ohio Gun Guy
May 11, 2011, 11:26 PM
whew.......

glad you posted, makes us all better for it.

9mm+
May 11, 2011, 11:26 PM
If you have a new shooter and you're 1:1 with them, you should stand behind and to their left while they shoot until the firearm has been made safe with action open and up and placed on the table. From there, ask the shooter to step back from the firing line slowly until they're in vulture's row with the others.

Most new shooters are clueless (not all, but most of them) with very poor safety discipline. It's not because they don't want to be safe, but because they're overwhelmed and nervous. You have to be there watching them like a hawk.

-eaux-
May 11, 2011, 11:35 PM
Start beginners with one round in the mag.
yep, especially with a centerfire pistol.
And always be standing where you can control the gun arm of a noob shooter.

yep, same policy is applied with my stepsons, from BBgun to 12Ga to .30WCF.
What's your focus, son? Target, Front Sight, Muzzle Control.
Fire when ready.

Siggity Sal
May 11, 2011, 11:36 PM
That's reminds me of the first time I went to the range with my brother in law, we saw a guy come out of his lane after shooting with his finger on the trigger and he pointed the gun in a few different directions, the guy was completely oblivious to what he was doing, so after ducking for cover we commented to each other what an idiot this guy was, and we decided to go to the other side of the range, after my brother in law shoots about 2 mags off and is getting some nice grouping he decides to get my attention and while doing so he does the exact same thing the IDIOT guy did.:banghead:

His response to me, it's not loaded:cuss:

Hardtarget
May 12, 2011, 12:35 AM
Thats a SCARE for sure. Very glad there was nothing else to report! ( no errant shots) :what:

Sinks it home...redundant safety talks. Thanks for the heads up. I'll be the first to remind my group at the next range trip!

Mark

matt_borror
May 12, 2011, 12:37 AM
also...when you're done shooting set the gun down. no need to hold the gun and be talking to someone. that should go for any level shooter i'd think

Remo223
May 12, 2011, 12:42 AM
I'm probably changing the subject a little, but...


Does anyone remember back in the days when double action revolvers were the standard handgun and nobody cared if your finger was in the trigger guard or not in the trigger guard? Of course people cared about where the gun was pointing back then, but the whole finger off the trigger thing was not an issue with revolvers.

JTHunter
May 12, 2011, 02:06 AM
Offroader - thanks for an excellent reminder on how easy it is to have an "accident"!

merlinfire
May 12, 2011, 08:47 AM
Luckily, as everyone knows, a .380 would barely scratch you. Now if she'd been holding a 9mm that would have killed you dead!

Carl N. Brown
May 12, 2011, 09:02 AM
Yea, verily I say unto you, do not allow a noobie to shoot without the four commandments faithfully recited:

You treat all guns with the respect due a loaded, lethal weapon.

You keep aware of where the muzzle is pointed at all times and never sweep an unintended target.

You keep the finger off the trigger until the sights are on an intended target.

You clearly identify the target and the background where the bullet will go before pulling the trigger.

Emphasize, Emphasize:

On a firing line, muzzles should be straight up or downrange.

When something unexpected happens, always keep the muzzle downrange and don't turn with the weapon to talk to someone.

MachIVshooter
May 12, 2011, 09:11 AM
Start beginners with one round in the mag.

I don't do that.

And don't skimp on the safety talk.

I do always give that talk. I stress that muzzle control is paramount. As long as the muzzle stays pointed in a safe direction (ground, down range), any other violation (or a gun malfunction) won't result in injuries. I'll gently remind about tirgger finger and other rules as the day progresses, but everyone is safe and I'm comfortable as long as the gun is always pointed in a safe direction.

As for kids, I don't single load the gun, but I also don't give them a handgun or semi-automatic until they are ready. Same result; If they lose focus and swing around after firing, no live round in the chamber.

Carl N. Brown
May 12, 2011, 09:48 AM
Noobies remember the safety talk when everything is going perfect. Throw in a failure-to-fire, fail-to-extract or -eject, or fail-to-feed and the distraction can make them forget the safety talk.

rangerphil
May 12, 2011, 10:21 AM
Jeff82 is absolutely correct. With a new shooter, stand where you can control the shooters arm movement if necessary. This technique is not only for teaching kids how to shoot....

USAF_Vet
May 12, 2011, 10:29 AM
I have my kids recite the 4 rules no less than three times before shooting. If they get one wrong, they start over. Redundant repetition of repetetive redundancy. They start off with one round in the mag, then three. then, provided no errors have occurred on TFL, they load their own mags from then on. Which is fine, because they can't seem to load more than six rounds in a ten round .22LR magazine.

Hangingrock
May 12, 2011, 12:37 PM
For those Iíve instructed I stand directly behind them with my arms partially extended out side of the shooters shoulder width thus not allowing them to turn from the direction of the target.

cambeul41
May 12, 2011, 12:42 PM
As part of the safety talk, I throw in a discussion with finger-gun demonstration of what not to do. Saying, "Never point your gun at anything that you are not willing to destroy," is not enough. Showing that turning from the firing line effectively points the gun at others can help the newby (?) internalize the point.

FNP45
May 12, 2011, 12:52 PM
Had a similar situation with a buddy one time. He shot 4 out of 6 in a 357 mag and turned around swinging the barrel around at a group of us asking " is it empty" I removed the gun from his hand. We had a little talk and I refrained from popin him up side the head. Needless to say it is a scary moment

HankR
May 12, 2011, 12:53 PM
Noobies remember the safety talk when everything is going perfect. Throw in a failure-to-fire, fail-to-extract or -eject, or fail-to-feed and the distraction can make them forget the safety talk.

Yep. I was teaching one lady to shoot and the front sight worked loose on a newish Ruger Mark II. She turned around and pointed the gun at me while her off hand pointed to the (rotated) sight. I calmly asked "Yes, and where should the gun be pointing?" and her eyes got as big as saucers.

Now when I give the safety speech to a group for the first time I retell that story, then when we recite Rule 2 they add "even is something unexpected happens" or "even is something goes wrong". Thanks for the reminder.

Col. Plink
May 12, 2011, 12:58 PM
I like to say you have to be able to operate all aspects of loading/racking/readying while pointing downrange. May sound simplistic and redundant but the challenge is a good learning tool; it takes some dexterity and concentration to learn to flip the pistol over with the wrist while aiming downrange.

BP Hunter
May 12, 2011, 01:02 PM
Everytime I take my 10 year old shooting, I always ask all the 4 questions on gun safety. If they are all answered correctly, then I let her shoot. With new shooters, I firmly tell them to follow all of my instructions. I never let my eye wander from them.

Thanks for sharing.

Jeff82
May 12, 2011, 11:00 PM
I'm probably changing the subject a little, but...


Does anyone remember back in the days when double action revolvers were the standard handgun and nobody cared if your finger was in the trigger guard or not in the trigger guard? Of course people cared about where the gun was pointing back then, but the whole finger off the trigger thing was not an issue with revolvers.

And drunk driving laws were lax/nonexistent, we never wore seat belts and we rode in the back of pickups at highway speed...

hAkron
May 12, 2011, 11:30 PM
My mom did the same thing when I took her to the range for the first time, only she did it twice! Oh mom...

W.E.G.
May 12, 2011, 11:34 PM
Never turn your back on a new shooter.

JCallaway82
May 12, 2011, 11:41 PM
These stories always scare me. I never like to be in a lane next to someone being instructed with their first shooting experience...especially young kids.


I was standing back against the wall just a few weeks ago while my dad was at the line shooting his XD .40 . And a guy came in with two little girls...one maybe around 14 or so and the other 9 or 10.

He puts up a target, and hands them the fairly snappy Ruger LCP in .380. He then instructs the little girl for all of a minute and steps back...the girl pretty much takes her first shot and then turns around pointing it right at the partition where my father is standing on the opposite side. The guy then gently reminds her to point it down range and she does the same thing a few shots later....

Then he hands the gun to the older girl who fires off a round, and immediately sits the gun down on the table startled. He urges her to pick it back up and she does but is super jumpy and looks to be near tears...

Needless to say, I grabbed my dad and pulled him back out of the stall and we went on the other end of the range on the opposite side. I'm still not 100% sure that I think everyone should be allowed at a gun range.....

EchoBravo
May 12, 2011, 11:49 PM
Also prep them for possible hot brass. Easy for someone to wave the pistol around trying to brush a hot casing that's lodged in the elbow, down the shirt, on the neck, etc. Teach them to use the weak hand to bat at the brass while keeping the muzzle downrange. And don't tuck the shirt in.

Kliegl
May 13, 2011, 12:13 AM
The point about revolvers is valid. They require a positive action before (easily) firing again, or a long, deliberate one. Still, redundant safety isn't a bad thing.

I believe in starting kids (as in 10 and under) with a BB gun, single shot. My dad, better than 25 years ago, had me shoot a styrofoam coffee cup off a fence post, and then he would go set it up. We were going to leave, so the extra 2 liter sprite bottle that we brought along filled with drinking water (sulfur water at that camp) was set up on the post, then was shot by the model 97 Winchester. Hydrostatic forces emphasized the power of firearms to an awed 6 year old.

While one can nitpick certain range rules (an open bolt collects dirt, muzzles pointed down can be safer than muzzles pointed up, range rules about loaded holstered weapons do not supersede local CCW laws, etc), those 4 rules are pretty much non negotiable, and must be paid attention towards especially during times when things aren't perfect.

The-Reaver
May 13, 2011, 04:45 AM
I and my son both started on a single shot bolt .22 Rifle. It's the perfect weapon for all to learn on

Remo223
May 14, 2011, 11:49 PM
I'm probably changing the subject a little, but...


Does anyone remember back in the days when double action revolvers were the standard handgun and nobody cared if your finger was in the trigger guard or not in the trigger guard? Of course people cared about where the gun was pointing back then, but the whole finger off the trigger thing was not an issue with revolvers.

And drunk driving laws were lax/nonexistent, we never wore seat belts and we rode in the back of pickups at highway speed...

...and we still survived.

PS you left out the part about babies riding on their mothers' laps in cars with no seatbelts or child safety seats.

ol' scratch
May 15, 2011, 12:22 AM
Pretty scary stuff. I once had a guy slam a mag home on a Glock as I was picking up brass. He was behind me. As soon as he slammed the mag in, the slide went forward and the gun was pointed right at my head.:uhoh::eek:

Jeff82
May 15, 2011, 12:41 AM
^^Good one Remo!

Single Action Six
May 15, 2011, 12:56 AM
Cambeul 41 said in part..

"Never point your gun at anything that you are not willing to DESTROY."

As defined by the dictionary..

DE*STROY [dih-stroi]

Ėverb (used with object)

1.to reduce (an object) to useless fragments, a useless form, or remains, as by rending, demolish.

2.to kill; slay.

I've always used the statement.. "Never point your gun at anything that you are not willing to SHOOT OR FIRE YOUR WEAPON AT!"

Single Action Six

9MMare
May 15, 2011, 05:48 AM
You must expect things like this with a new shooter, next time be more attentive and a little closer so you can rectify the situation.

Agreed, it is a habit that must be developed.

Altho I feel like I developed that, and keeping my finger off the trigger, very quickly. Perhaps because their importance was really instilled in me from the start...that, and the gravity of handling a deadly weapon.

9MMare
May 15, 2011, 05:49 AM
Start beginners with one round in the mag. That is how my kids shot until they proved trustworthy.

And don't skimp on the safety talk.

I like that idea too!

Guns and more
May 15, 2011, 12:17 PM
Offroader - thanks for an excellent reminder on how easy it is to have an "accident"!
I was guilty of a similar thing.
I always pride myself on how careful I am at the range.
I'm not a "noob".
I'm not an idiot.
One time I took a neighbor shooting, he had the lane left of me.
After a bit, he asked where he could put the used brass.
Without thinking, I pointed to the bucket to my right.
Unfortunatly, I pointed with the right hand holding my loaded gun.
I immediately felt like a fool. I don't think anyone noticed but me.
I can't believe I did that. It ruined my day.
I'm sure I waved right by the guy in the next booth.
No, I didn't fire the gun, but it scared me.

It can happen. And it happens fast.

9MMare
May 15, 2011, 02:18 PM
Guns and more brings up a good point...or at least it brought something to mind for me.

I am very conscientious when handling guns. Excellent 'record' of good habits. And yet I just realized that I handle my gun in the same places, in the same manner, all the time.

It never comes out when carried. So when it's handled it's:

a) at home being put to bed....same ritual everyday
b) being dryfired/cleaned in the living room....same ritual, no live ammo EVER in the same room
c) at the range, in 2 places...at the firing line or in the big room where we practice IDPA. Again....very consistent rules and habits.

I have yet to compete in IDPA, that's not really my goal except that I may so that it adds that extra element of pressure and stress.

I can see that in unfamiliar places/situations or *under stress* many of us could still trip up esp with crossing.

My cowboy mounted shooting has become a good place to reveal if I have really instilled my good habits...and so far it seems so.

Not to mention that I carry my power drill around the property bit down, and finger off the trigger....without even thinking :)

Sorry for the long post, it just made me think that maybe some of us, like the non-hunters, need to 'get out more' with our guns in different places and experiences.

c33m0n3y
May 15, 2011, 10:22 PM
Had a similar incident of piss-poor thinking by a guy at my range today. The line was cold and I was walking back to my lane after stapling my targets when I look up and there's the guy on the lane adjacent to mine racking the slide of a semi-auto pistol in my general direction. I yelled out at him that there is zero gun handling when the line is cold. He put the gun down and mumbled something about wanting to clear the gun because he didn't get a chance to do it before the cease-fire was called. The stupidity of his statement was too much for me to even respond, so I picked up my gear and left shortly thereafter. I'm still upset about the incident. The guy's a member at the range so I expected him to be smarter about safety but it was a reminder to me to not get complacent and keep my eyes open.

arcticap
May 15, 2011, 10:49 PM
They were your guests and your reponsibility which you acknowledged. Just because she's an adult doesn't mean that she shouldn't have been supervised like a 10 year old until you had 100% confidence in her gun handling ability.
At our indoor weekly plate matches, a line officer stands next to each of the 2 shooters to check the chamber before leaving the line. And also to prevent mishaps such as when a gun becomes jammed or if there's a misfire and the person needs assistance, and to prevent the shooter from turning and sweeping the room with the gun whether it's loaded or not.
Before the match starts, the zero tolerance policy forbidding sweeping the room is announced. Anyone making a mistake will be asked to leave for the evening but will be welcome back next time.
However, they must learn the lesson because if it happens again then there will not be a third chance.
Either put the gun down on the table and let a line officer handle the problem or ask for help, but don't ever turn around with the gun and sweep a crowded room.
Some folks will have trouble manipulating their slide or removing the magazine while keeping the muzzle pointed downrange.
I try to show them how to turn their body instead of pointing the gun sideways toward the firing line, or at any angle beyond 45 degrees downrange for which the walls are marked at our range with painted lines.
It's more about experience than age has anything to do with it.
A novice can be dangerous to everyone on the range.
Even if they have taken a pistol or other safety course, guests need to become familiar with the procedures of how to clear the gun.
No one can assume that each of their guests already knows about it.
Hands on supervision is really important by someone who has some kind of experience under their belt and pays constant attention to their every move.

SSN Vet
May 16, 2011, 01:21 PM
When I shoot with a new or inexperienced person, I ALWAYS start with the four rules.

When I discuss Rule #2 (never let the muzzle cover anything you don't want to destroy), I role play the exact behavior you describe (with my index finger as the imaginary gun).

When I'm at the range and other shooters don't exhibit muzzle control, I leave.

Heretic
May 17, 2011, 04:55 PM
My 8 year old daughter can quote the 4 rules verbatum. More importantly, she follows those rules even with toy guns. Practice makes perfect.

dprice3844444
May 17, 2011, 05:03 PM
had the same basic thing happen to me,i then divorced her

Hondo 60
May 17, 2011, 05:11 PM
Start beginners with one round in the mag.

That's the way I started my brother.
Once he did fine with that, he got the 2nd half of the safety speech & then 2 rounds in the gun. Once he did fine with that, then he got a full gun.

Kinda wish I had started like that with my nephew, but he got the whole big safety speech & did just fine.

1911Tuner
May 17, 2011, 05:30 PM
Brings back a few memories. None of'em good...

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